This week I answer, “What is the dark web” and “What is the deep web”.
They are two different things so when you hear the terms being casually tossed around online, don’t confuse what so-o-o-o many uninformed people say with the truth.
The Deep Web
The deep web is all the information not indexed by search engines.
For example, your county courthouse has a website online.
When you use a search engine and type “Leon County Court Florida”, the search engine will offer a ton of results including the actual Clerk of Courts website. But… that’s where the search engine stops and the Deep Web begins.
On the Leon County Clerk’s website you’ll find a “Search Court Records” button. That button will lead you to the deep web information on that website.
When you search their records, you are searching the deep web information. And (don’t miss this!)… THAT is where all the really good stuff is!
The deep web is where you will find criminal histories, bankruptcies, divorce records and a ton more.
The Deep Web is extremely helpful to Private Investigators. You really need to be using deep web searches.
The Dark Web
The dark web is accessible with specialized software and it contains mostly illegal content.
On the dark web one can buy guns, drugs, pirated videos and pornography that will destroy your life (as well as the life of the person on display).
NB: It’s well established all pornography is harmful, but the dark web’s pornography is also largely illegal.
There is no legit reason to be on the dark web as a P.I.
You may say you need to “research” or that you’re looking for compromised account information for a client, but there are open web sources and researchers who make that information freely, easily and safely available with out you having to access the dark web. Period.
Spiritual Note: God seeks not just your salvation, but also your sanctification. Stay pure and grow in holiness.
Remember to use and all sources and methods, legally and ethically!
As I say every week… Do the right thing even if it’s the hard thing!
If you like these helpful tips, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. If not, you can get it right here…
If you think someday you may have to step-up and do the heroic thing, then let me share with you three things you need to know on how to be a hero.
While this is kind of a simple concept, it’s good to have a solid understanding before something bad happens.
Who we call “Heroes”
I don’t want to be casual about the language I use because it’s very important.
I’m reluctant to use the word “hero”, but I don’t think there’s another word that’s quite captures the concept.
“Leader” is one word that might work. Or maybe “champion”. But we’re not used to hearing those words used a lot.
Consider the circumstance when something bad happens, somebody steps forward and kind of “champions” the solution.
When I was in the military, we were trained to arrive on the scene and if you’re the one running it, you announce, “I am in charge at the scene”. But, what I’m talking about here is not so much “being in charge” (leader), but where you’re actually taking care of business by doing what others might describe as “heroic”.
Hero is probably the right word. I’m going to use it, in circumstances where someone acts heroic. It’s their behavior and not necessarily a definition of the person. It’s the classical behavior that sometimes is referred to as heroic. Let’s talk about that.
The reason this even comes up is because I’ve written a book on how to make a citizen’s arrest. It’s great stuff. Good information and some tactical, on the ground, important things to know. I’ve been there and done that. When bad things happen – and we’re not just talking about criminal bad guys and citizen’s arrest – but if there’s a fire. If there’s a medical emergency. Any of these types of situations where you think you might have to step up and do the “heroic” thing. That’s what I’m talking about here. And I’ve found, three things are required.
The Three Things
Number one, you need what I would call the skills or the abilities. You need the ability to take care of the situation.
For a medical emergency, have you had the training?
Do you know how to do CPR? Can you apply a tourniquet?
Do you know how to check someone’s breathing or to check for a pulse?
For a citizen’s arrest, do you know what to say?
For a fire, do you know how to use a fire extinguisher?
Having the skills or abilities is one of the three critical things you need if you’re going to step-up and take heroic action.
Number two, you need a willingness to take action.
If you’re just not willing to step-up and use the skills and ability you have, that’s understandable. There’s no judgment. I get it! Things in the real world are uncertain and “uncertain” is scary. When something bad does happen, your mind goes to the million possibilities of what’s happening (in seconds!) and what can go wrong making things worse!
It’s good to consider the possible outcomes. If you don’t (or haven’t) ahead of time, your actions can easily cross over from heroic to reckless. And you will be held responsible for your actions.
One of the things that drives me up the wall are crime scene investigation shows on television where the investigators / crime scene technicians get one little piece of information and immediately draw the correct conclusion!
If they find a body with two different kinds of wounds because two different weapons were involved, they immediately “know” there were two different suspects. And in the show, sure enough, they’re correct. Well, no. No! In real life that’s not necessarily what it means. In real life, there are a million reasons for two different wounds or weapons and only one suspect.
Stop and think for a moment, especially in a desperate situation, of all the possible things could go wrong. Imagine a crime in progress. You see the bad guy. You’ve got the skills and abilities to apprehend him, run him off, or maybe, sometimes, just get a good witness statement. You have the skills and abilities to take action, but all of a sudden realize, you realize…
What if he’s not alone?
What if there’s a getaway driver?
What if there’s someone around the corner?
What if someone else here is his backup and just not making themselves known?
In the moments of an emergency, your mind will race with the possibilities of what can happen if you make one move or another. But this is not a game. There is no rest button. No do-overs.
You may not be willing to take the risk and do what some people, in hindsight, if it turns out well, will call heroic. And there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that!
After all, most of the time, the best thing to do for a crime in progress is nothing. If the bad guy just wants the money, the stuff, and to run away, is there really a good reason to interfere with that? I would say no.
The third thing is, do you have the opportunity to step up and do the heroic thing?
This is the one thing you have very little control over. Let me explain…
Take a step back (perspective) and look at life. 99.99% of the time, nothing bad is happening around you. There is no “opportunity” because there is no emergency situation.
You can spend a lifetime learning how to apply a tourniquet. But how often has that need come up in your life?
I know gun enthusiasts that love to go to the range and shoot for accuracy. Yet, you can live ten lifetimes and never need to draw a weapon in real life.
Martial arts, as wonderful as that is and I think it’s great for fitness, preparedness, confidence, and everything else, and I think you should have some martial arts skills, but you can practice your skills for a lifetime and never, in the real world, need to step up and use them because there’s not that opportunity.
Now, imagine you’re in a situation where you do have the skills, the willingness, and in a sense, there is opportunity right in the area where you are. In the room, in the store, in your church, something is happening. You still may not have the opportunity to do something about it because of “proximity”.
The person that you need to get to is too far away. Whatever you need to do, you don’t have the opportunity because you’re blocked in. In the event of a fire, you may have the skills to go in, the strength and the ability to pull somebody out, but there’s no opportunity. When it comes to the heat, flames, and smoke, if you haven’t been there, I’m not sure you can fully appreciate how bad that is. There’s just truly no opportunity. Yes, you’re right there, but you just can’t get to the person.
You don’t have a lot of control over opportunity. What you can do, to have some control over opportunity, is to make sure that when you’re seated at a restaurant, for example, you want to be near the exits or at least know where they are.
You can sit at church near a fire extinguisher. That type of thing. You’re increasing your odds of having the opportunity to help because you have easy quick access, for example, to that fire extinguisher if something goes wrong.
The Good News and Virtue
The really good news is we can live thousands and thousands of days where nothing bad happens. We can live years and years never have to step up to something that requires heroic action.
If you want to back out for a little more spiritual perspective on things, look at the single mom who goes to work everyday for years and years to support her kids. That is heroic.
She’s got the skills, she’s got the opportunity to help them, and she’s got the willingness.
The willingness is a tremendously heroic thing. There are a lot of things we can do in our life everyday that have heroic consequences but they’re not glamorous. Nobody calls you as a hero. Do you think anybody, when they describe a hero to me, is imagining that single parent trying to support their children, riding the bus for two hours to get to work because the car broker down and they can’t afford to get it repaired? That is heroic! That is true sacrifice even though it’s not the example of a hero we first think of.
What You Can Do to Prepare to be a Hero
Do you need the willingness part? Keep in mind, how you do anything is how you do everything.
If you’re willing to do the right thing every day in the small things, the painful things, the very unglamorous things, that does increase your odds of having the willingness, when the time comes that you will take heroic action.
Do you need the “ability” part of it? Watch videos. Read books. Get any training you think you need. I’m not pushing training here, but if you need training, no matter what it is, get the training so that you have the skills.
The ability is yours because you took the time, energy and effort to prepare ahead of time and learn the skills needed to responsibly take heroic action.
Pro Tip: You don’t rise to the level of the threat, you default to the level of your training.
The willingness is going to come to you because every day, you do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing.
The opportunity is something you’re more likely to have if you’ve pre-positioned yourself for a greater chance to have the opportunity to do the heroic thing that needs to be done. My brothers and sisters in the security profession have much greater odds of coming upon the opportunity because they spend 40 hour a week, every week, in a position where there might be a problem.
Today (right now!) is when you make yourself the type of person who will be heroic when others need your help.Practice small acts of self-sacrifice everyday. Study the way you’re supposed to study. Work the way you’re supposed to work. We are not built for comfort. We are build for courage.
Do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing.
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – Don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here
This week I share with you 4 Dead Private Investigator Tricks We’re Better Off Without – and one I kinda’ miss.
These are tricks and techniques used “back in the day” and they are dirty trick that were never ethical to use, but scam private investigators used them hoping to get an advantage in their business.
Some of these are in my best selling book 51 Dirty Tricks Bad Guys Really Hate, but while writing this article I discovered something about my own book and I’ll share it with you a bit later in this article.
Dead P.I. Tricks we’re better off without.
1. Criss-Cross Directory Surveillance Cheat
To avoid the work of actually doing surveillance on a person/house, a sum-bag private investigator would look up the address they were supposed to watch in the criss-cross directory.
If you’ve gotten my free report “ If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things” (from the home page of my blog) then you know criss-cross directories are a way (and back then one of the only ways!) to look up neighbors of a know address.
So, the dirt-ball P.I. would look up the neighbors, call them and using a pretext, gather information about the house they were supposed to be surveilling.
Then the rip-off P.I. would write a report full of details like the color of the house number of windows, color of the shutters, etc. This would give the appearance that he was really out at the address otherwise, how could he know all of these details?!?
Then he would conclude his fake surveillance report with. “No activity observed”.
The only thing left to do for this cheating P.I. was to collect his check for doing nothing.
This trick is essentially unusable today because of technology that allows anyone to quickly and easily see a house on a street using the Internet. It’s simply not credible any more to pretend like a physical description is proof you were out there.
Also since it’s so cheap and easy to get photos and video of a house, there’s no reason a surveillance “with no activity” shouldn’t have 30 seconds of video every hour just to prove to the client an investigator was out there!
2. The Heavy Rock Trick
To prove a subject claiming an injury (like on a worker’s compensation case), an unethical Private Investigator might place a heavy rock or some cinder blocks as an obstruction to the subject. A classic example is using the rock to block a car in the driveway.
The “investigator” would then sit back at a distance and record as the subject/claimant discovered and moved the rock so he could drive away.
The investigator would document the weight of the rock in his report and present the video as evidence the subject of his investigation was healthy enough to lift and move the rock. Ostensibly this was “proof” the subject was healthy enough to go back to work.
Obviously, this is unethical. One fundamental point of surveillance is NOT to interfere/interact with the subject of your investigation! You need fair and accurate video of what happens when they think no one is watching!
3. Police Officer Confidential Source
Okay, this trick wasn’t necessarily unethical. It depends on what information a cop would pass to his P.I. buddy. But, I think it’s not done too much any more and we really don’t need it!
Thanks to good public records laws and the Freedom of Information Act, we P.I.’s have access to a TON of law enforcement in formation!
An thanks to the Internet, it’s never been easier to access!
Any information we can’t get is likely illegal for us to get from a friendly police officer. And with digital tracking so pervasive, it’s unlikely an officer could pass along information without leaving a digital footprint that would jam them up badly.
Why risk your case (and your buddy’s career!) like that?
4. Busted Taillight Trick
If you’ve ever had the good fortune to have to follow someone at night and they have a broken taillight, you know haw helpful that is! You can see and identify their car from a mile away – literally! It make mobile surveillance much, much easier.
At one time, an unethical investigator might actually break out the subject’s taillight to make his surveillance easier.
As with a lot of these dirty tricks, the investigator justifies his actions by telling himself, “If the guy wasn’t such a scum-bag I wouldn’t have to follow him in the first place. He deserves whatever he gets.”
Larry’s Side Note: If you’re a Christian Private Investigator you know none of us want to get “what we deserve”. Our sins deserve hell. Thank God for his mercy!
Pro Tip: Don’t do anything if your justification is, “He deserves it” or “What did he expect would happen?”
One Trick I Kinda’ Miss
The Birthday Card Trick
Years ago – years and years ago – it was common and acceptable for Private Investigators to pretext banks for financial information.
One pretext was to write a check (including the words “For deposit only”) and send it to the subject of your financial investigation in a birthday card.
After the subject deposited the check, it would be routed back to you with his bank name and often his account number printed on the back of the check. Handy info to have if a deadbeat dad won’t pay his court ordered child support, but super-illegal to do now.
Pro Tip:Do not (and I mean NEVER) pretext a bank for financial information. And I would suggest you read and understand the federal law about pretexting for financial information.
In preparing to write this article, I reviewed my book 51 Dirty Tricks Bad Guys Really Hate looking for some old-school tricks we shouldn’t be using anymore. But, to my surprise, I found many (many!) tricks in my book aren’t “dead tricks” and many are ethical if used properly.
For example, the trick cops use to catch underage drinkers in a bar, the auto repossession “Get the key” trick and the “Slide on Ice” trick are all ethical and legit if used properly.
There are three bad clients to avoid as a private investigator, but if you must take one of them let’s at least look at how to deal with a difficult client.
In reverse order from “not the worst” to “avoid at all cost”…
3. Clients who have a “rush job”.
The client who calls you an needs you “right now” or tomorrow is a concern.
A client (especially a new client) who is in a hurry usually has no experience with a private investigator. That means their expectation of the results they will get as WAY out of line with reality.
If you absolutely must take this type of client, really spell-out to them what they can reasonably expect. Explain to them how the investigation may fail. Don’t just tell them once and figure they understand. You need to explain it multiple time using different words each time so you increase the chances they will understand and remember.
Use a contract with the client whose in a hurry. They will be in “too much of a rush” to get you on the case and “too busy” to sign the contract, but those are WARNING SIGNS that they are even more unreasonable that you think.
Pro Tip: If they have worked with a P.I. before, you gotta ask yourself, “Why are they re-hiring the last investigator?”
2. Desperate clients.
A person hiring you out of desperation is a bad client.
They will have unreasonable expectations of what to expect and will freak-out if you “fail”.
By “fail” I mean if you lose the subject you’re following, can’t find the skip your looking for and can interview the person they need information from.
The desperate client is also usually a cheap client. They don’t have the money to pay you to do the job right or to try again if they case is tricky. You will be trying to fulfill unreasonable expectations without the resources you need.
With an desperate client you will spend more than you make on the case and still have an unhappy client when your done.
1. Creepy clients.
Don’t take creepy clients.
Looks can be deceiving so you can’t just go by the way a person looks to get a creep-index from them. Also, you may not even meet you potential client face-to-face, so you need to look for other warning signs.
First of all, if you even have to ask yourself, “Is this guy kinda creepy?” then you have your first warning sign. He hasn’t passed the “sniff test”. Something just doesn’t “smell right” about this guy.
Secondly, consider what your potential client is asking for. If it’s a lock of hair… creepy.
Unfortunately, the creepy request usually isn’t that obvious.
Here’s a classic creepy request: I need you to follow her home from work.
This is almost always asked by a man asking you to follow a woman. What he “needs” is her home address. Not to see if she stops along the way, sees someone else or whatever. He wants her home address because she has intentionally not given it to him!
Pro Tip: The creepy client will have a weak reason for “needing” the information he’s asking you to get. Ask a few times and in different ways why he needs it. Ask why he hasn’t tried other ways first. His answers will be weak because the real answer is, “She won’t tell me where she lives.”
Never take a creepy client.
Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – Don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here: